Monday, November 9, 2009
White Picket Fences -- Book Review
Susan Meissner's new book White Picket Fences is one of the better books I've read in a long time. I find myself thinking about it over a week after I finished it . . . and when I read the last chapter, it actually brought me to tears. Not the one drop falling down your cheek kind of cry, but a "good cry" that lasted several minutes.
White Picket Fences is the story of a seemingly perfect family . . . which is anything but perfect. The members of this family have to learn to trust each other with their secrets, their feelings, their fears. The secondary theme of this book is the Holocaust -- the teens of this book interview two survivors of a concentration camp as a school project and unearth yet another family secret.
Since this is the second Meissner book I've read and really enjoyed, I even bookmarked her web page to my "favorite authors" page. I strongly recommend this book.
I'm happy to announce I have one free copy of White Picket Fences to give away. To enter the random drawing, please send your name and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will be drawn on Friday, November 13, 2009.
You can purchase the book here: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400074570&ref=externallink_wbp_whitepicketfences_sec_0916_01
Below is the summary from the publisher.
Amanda Janvier’s idyllic home seems the perfect place for her niece Tally to stay while her vagabond brother is in Europe, but the white picket fence life Amanda wants to provide is a mere illusion. Amanda’s husband Neil refuses to admit their teenage son Chase, is haunted by the horrific fire he survived when he was four, and their marriage is crumbling while each looks the other way.
Tally and Chase bond as they interview two Holocaust survivors for a sociology project, and become startlingly aware that the whole family is grappling with hidden secrets, with the echoes of the past, and with the realization that ignoring tragic situations won’t make them go away.
Readers of emotional dramas that are willing to explore the lies that families tell each other for protection and comfort will love White Picket Fences. The novel is ideal for those who appreciate exploring questions like: what type of honesty do children need from their parents, or how can one move beyond a past that isn’t acknowledged or understood? Is there hope and forgiveness for the tragedies of our past and a way to abundant grace?
Susan Meissner cannot remember a time when she wasn’t driven to put her thoughts down on paper. Her novel The Shape of Mercy was a Publishers Weekly pick for best religious fiction of 2008 and a Christian Book Award finalist. Susan and her husband live in Southern California, where he is a pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves. They are the parents of four grown children.
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.